In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:9-15)
The Role Of The Woman
After God created the man, He recognized it was not good for him to be alone and so He created the woman. Adam was made from the dust of the earth but the Woman was formed from a rib of Adam. The union of Adam and Eve showed the fulfillment of the divine plan for a man and woman to dwell together. When Satan came to tempt Adam and Eve, he began with the woman. Having succeeded in convincing Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit, Satan knew it would not be difficult for Adam to succumb to the desires of his wife.
God punished the serpent, prophesied of the punishment of Satan and pronounced consequences upon the man and woman. Adam would labor by the sweat of his brow for his part in disobeying the command of God. Eve suffered the consequence of painful childbirth and her submission to the man. Men still labor by the sweat of their hands to provide for their families and women continue to suffer painful childbirth. What God pronounced at the beginning of time remains intact until the coming of the Lord. The second measure of punishment for the woman also continues today. God told Eve that her desire would be to her husband and he would rule over her. The Lord was not suggesting this was a penalty only Eve would endure but all women of all ages.
The scriptures bear out the fulfillment of that prophecy of God in the role of the woman and her place with man. Her place of subjection to the man did not make her a person of less worth lacking intelligence or wisdom. God did not demean the place of the woman as a mere doormat to be treated with disrespect. In fact, the Law of Moses had many laws protecting women’s rights. The Lord never approved of treating women in any fashion but love, respect, and honor. In Christ, men and women are equal. Jesus died for the woman as much as He died for the man. There are many deeply spiritual women who have a love of truth and insight into the divine word.
Jesus promised to build His church and on the day of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem, the gospel message of Christ was preached by twelve men called apostles. The early church began with great enthusiasm and zeal. Problems were addressed and dealt with appropriately. Widows were neglected in the church at Jerusalem and the apostles set forth seven men to care for their needs. Men like Peter, Philip, Paul, Silas, and Barnabas preached the gospel of Christ, ordaining elders in every city. Men and women obeyed the gospel and in the city of Berea, prominent women as well as men believed.
Luke’s record of the early church never mentions women preachers. Women had a place in the early church but never in the role of leadership. The letters of Paul explain why the role of women was restricted. In his letter to Timothy, Paul writes through the authority of the Holy Spirit that women are to present themselves modestly and be in submission to the man. They are to learn in silence and are not permitted to exercise a role of leadership over the man. There are two reasons this injunction is placed upon the woman: first, she was second in creation after Adam. The man was created first. Secondly, the woman was deceived into taking the forbidden fruit – not the man. The Holy Spirit (not Paul) hearkens back to what God told the woman in the garden of Eden. Paul is not writing what he believes the woman’s role to be. He is inspired by the Finger of God to declare the woman’s role. Earlier, in his letter to Corinth, Paul (by inspiration of the Holy Spirit) said the women are to be silent and be in submission.
The role of the woman is a divine command and the whims of human wisdom cannot change that. There is an increasing role of women within the body of Christ that denies the clear mandates of God as directed through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Among the religious world, the denial of truth has long been the practice with women taking the role of preachers, elders, and leaders. The denominational world is in apostasy, but the church of Christ is leaning toward the same failures and denial of truth. Among the Lord’s church, “Praise Teams” are becoming popular with women “leading” the groups. Women are allowed to serve in public ways as a compromise to the world’s pressures. It is sad when the nation of God begins to mimic the nations around them. Women have much to offer in the work of the Lord, but they are not permitted to take on any role that is outside the bounds of Biblical authority.